Pitch black flocks resting on the wires of telephone poles.
My Daddy couldn’t resist bringing them to their deaths with a pellet gun.
They were like shooting paper ducks at the North Florida Fair.
Pelted by pellets in their crow hearts.
One final caw, caw before tumbling into a thicket
of blackberries. Thorns stuck into silken wings.
“No need to let a good bird go to waste,” Daddy says.
Thrown into the sink, Mama digs out innards
and pellets. She tosses the head
in the blue trash can, plucks the feathers
as they pile at her feet,
cloak her leopard-printed bedroom shoes.
Tender pink meat rinsed beneath scalding water,
baptized in seasoning salt, slices of celery over the eyes
like pennies. Crow drifts on a raft of bell pepper,
carrots, fresh potatoes in the pot. Nothing like the scent of crow
permeating through the house. “Y'all can come
on eat now, the food’s done,” Mama yells from the kitchen.
She spoons mountains of rice, baby corn on our plates.
A buttered roll is the great wall between the two.
My sister refuses to eat the meat. She cries for the crow.
“Hush gal and eat,” Mama tells her, but she refuses.
Instead she makes a crucifix out of her knife and fork
and mourns. So I too, follow suit, 'cause I never wanted it dead
Anyway. Daddy sucks the bones whole, sops up its juices
with them buttered rolls. He looks at us with greasy lips
and says, “If you kill what you don’t eat, that’s a sin.”
My sister and I refuse to give in and ask to be excused.
“No,” Mama yells. “Not until you don ate every bitta that bird.”
All I do is pick at it, push it around with my finger.
Daddy tires of our boycott and says, “Gone scrape
out your plates.” We leave them to fight and holler amongst
themselves, realizing we have won this good fight.
Shane Allison's poems have been published in Thieves Jargon, Heroin Love Songs, Mississippi Review, Zygote in My Coffee, New Delta Review, Velvet Mafia and tons of others. He is the author of Hot Cops: Gay Erotic Stories and Backdraft: Hot Fireman Erotica. He has published seven chapbooks of poems. I Want to Eat Off Your Ass being his most recent from Propaganda Press. His first volume of poems, Slut Machine and Other Poems are forthcoming this fall from Rebel-Santori Press.
Photo by Adam Lawrence.
Street art by Carpe Diem.
Boston-based producer Shuttle is one of the newest signing to Recordings and this is a sneak peak at his debut album album which is due this summer.